Hehee, my Crazies are still here.

I haven’t checked up on my search terms in a while…the somewhat colorful phrases that people Google and somehow end up here. So I decided to check in.

Yep. The Crazies are still finding me with great gems like “a butt with a bandaid on it.” Great thing about that one, it’s in the list more than once. WHO looks for this stuff??

A couple of runners-up? “hippie swear words” and “sell kidney”

Seriously?? ARE there swear words that are specific to the Peace People? And where did I mention selling a kidney? I still have both mine, and I’m not in the market for a new one…

At least they’re not as worrisome as the person who found me by seeking “scorpion karma.”

Ouch.

There are dishes to wash, laundry to move from the dryer to the bedroom floor where it goes, and toys to move from the middle of the floor to the corners.

A lonely Gazelle sits in the living room, longing for me to decide exercise was an actual New Year’s Resolution. Maybe I should put the never-opened Yoga-Kickbox Fusion DVD on it for company.

There are gigs on Odesk just screaming my name. My inboxes (yes, there are several) are full of flagged, “get to this later” messages.

My boots on Ebay need checked. Selling, not buying. I want to buy. Buying stuff is fun. I think…it’s been a very long time.

I’ve finished work for my actual job for the day, but there are a few things I need to write ahead on. I also have a few hundred photos I need to work on.

I should take out the trash, dust, and vacuum.

I desperately need to buy groceries, which means I desperately need to sell a few things on Ebay, write some articles for someone, or find something else to do for money.

What I really, really, REALLY want, though…is to sit down with my fuzzy blanket and pick up a book. I used to read 2 or 3 a week. Now, I keep having to start one over because so much time passes between reading the first few chapters and picking it up again, that I lose track of the plot.

I am a bookworm without “the stuff,” going through withdrawals…

It’s been a while. I realized just how long when I logged in and discovered that WordPress has changed…well…everything. A bit of clicking, some cursing, and I found my “classic dashboard.”

Why must there be change?

I am fully on board with new things, as long as they are in a carefully spelled-out, easily understood, sidebar. Y’know…something I can ignore until I’m bored and WINEing.

Road trips with minions are never boring….hair-raising, loud, and stressful maybe, but never boring. The tallish minion and I have come up with a game. When we’re in the car for a long time, we work on our dream house.

Our dream house is entirely made up, and we decided that if we ever win the lottery, this is what we will build. Every trip we add rooms, colors, decorations, pets, and anything else we can come up with.

It’s going to be a rainbow of color, because we just can’t agree on anything. Since there are so many rooms, it is a sprawling structure with several wings. There will be a lime and black zebra wall, a turquoise wall, and an entirely mirrored wall, as well as sides of every other jewel-tone there is. Hot pink trim will grace the entire thing…which includes turrets.

Inside will be rooms to suit any taste, and we will rent them out like a hotel. When you book a room, you don’t book by a number, you book by style. Victorian Powder Room, anyone?

The minion has a few rooms added that will take some ingenuity. A treehouse room that has to be an actual treehouse is on the list. A treehouse with access to the rest of the house by slide, zipline, and rope ladder.

There will be two ballrooms. One of the traditional kind, for dancing, modeled (of course) after Beauty and the Beast, Disney version. Another will be a ballroom in the literal sense. No furniture, the entire room will be a ball pit. Plastic colored balls. With a disco ball chandelier, round mirrors on every wall, and port-hole windows. The walls in here will be yellow with pink polka-dots.

Of course there will be an indoor pool, shaped like a crescent moon, and a star-shaped hot-tub. The gym will have all the traditional equipment, except in neon colors. A ballet barre will line one wall, and a gymnastics mat will stretch through the center.

The playground room will be just like it sounds. Think McDonald’s, without the creepy clown and the hamburger dude.

I have (silently) decided on a fully stocked bar. A gameroom will probably go well with that.

The minions both voted for a movie theater.

The list of pets is almost as long as the list of rooms. There will be ferrets and flying squirrels, one naked cat, a team of huskies, fainting pygmy goats, and ponies. Outside there will be a small zoo with ring-tailed lemurs, a few monkeys, and a Zebra named Zed.

One wall of the kitchen will be the side of the salt-water aquarium with the dolphins. They will be trained to let the minions ride, and they won’t eat fish…that would be “soo friggin’ gross.”

The whole structure must be on stilts, since we took a trip to Corpus and the tallish minion became fascinated by the houses on sticks.

I’ve decided that this is all feasible. I just need to win the lottery a few times, get a fairy godmother, and find some magic beans.

   The shortish minion has been telling me for 2 years now, quite insistently, that he is big enough to play baseball. Well, this year it finally happened! By the time Little League Season rolled around, he was 28 pounds of 4 year old All-Star just waiting to happen…he was FINALLY big enough.

   The shortest little guy out there, he strutted out there for Opening Ceremonies with his chest puffed out, his hat on crooked, and his knee-length team shirt tucked into his big-boy baseball pants. He proudly stood for all the right moments, and led his team out onto the field when they announced the littlest Patriots’ names.

   Head held high, he sat through the rest of the team’s being introduced, then RAN as fast as he could for the gate that led back to Momma. He wanted his jacket, he wanted a drink, and he wanted some chicken.

   We went to DQ to kill the hour between the Ceremonies and his FIRST GAME EVER.

   While there, I asked if he was ready. He looked at me blankly for a moment, then said “Momma we already DID go do T-Ball.”

   Apparently he thought all the practice, the uniform, and all the other baseball hoopla was in preparation for that one walk across the field with his team. He was done. He came, he waved, he conquered. I had to convince him that there was more to it than that easy-peasy stroll.

   Once we got to the field, his excitement returned and he puffed out his chest, donned his too-big crooked hat, and took to the field.

   When the little Patriots took to the field for the first time, the shortish minion marched himself out onto the field, straight to the pitcher’s mound. There, he set his feet, readied his glove, and glared a challenge at the pitcher…a first grader who looked at him like a stray cat that had wandered up.

   The coach convinced him to go to the outfield, where he danced the rest of the game.

   In between the dancing in the outfield, there was the best part…the part with the bat. They put a too-big helmet on his tiny head (really, they think these will actually help prevent an injury in a game where the kids don’t even get pitched to?) and sent him on his way. My little leftie lined up his feet, hefted his bat, SWUNG with all his might, and sent the ball sailing towards the pitcher.

   That’s when my little All-Star dropped the bat and took off running with all his might…after the ball.

   He raced the pitcher for that ball with coaches and fans trying to figure out whether they were laughing or yelling instructions at him. The pitcher was a bigger boy and sent the shortish one off in the right direction, too stunned to tag him. He recovered and tossed the ball to the first baseman, who ran after my child, who was running with glee, giant helmet bobbing around on his head. He looked like a Bobble-Head doll for someone’s dashboard.

   His next turn at bat, he raced the pitcher for the ball again, and finally figured out what to do on the third chance.

   That third time turned out to be the charm. He took off for first, high-fived his coach, and listened patiently to the instructions to run to second. He nodded understanding, the coach turned his attention to the batter, and my son took off running for his life towards second. He almost stole his first base…he’d missed the little detail about waiting for the batter.

   When he finally got to run for second for real, he encountered a first-grader determined to tag him. They crashed, went end over end, and my son promptly quit the game.

   I’ve talked him into trying again for the next game, after promising that baseball isn’t normally a tackle sport, and letting him speculate that Batman would have beaten up that bigger boy.

  

It started with a simple desire to do a little cleaning while the tallish minion was in school, and the smallish one was on vacation with his dad. Nothing major, just a little Spring Cleaning without their input and hysterics when I tossed half of the 137 stuffies in the donation bag and threw out a few dozen Happy Meal boxes.

It ended with a destroyed kitchen, a pickup with the bed overflowing, and a storage room emptied and repurposed. Throw in a sprained knee, 9 new bruises, and a sore back. Add the help of two WONDERFUL friends.

The ultimate result was that the minions’ shared room became the tallish one’s room, and the storage room became the smallish one’s room. He finally has a room of his VERY OWN, and the video I have of him screaming I LOVE IT is completely worth the hassle.

I thought I was done for a while, except for the storage stuff purged into the kitchen and the poor truck that needed emptied.

I was wrong.

The first night gave me a new respect for nurses in nursing homes where each grumpy patient has a call button. One needed medicine, the other chocolate milk. While I was in the opposite room, Orange Kitty decided to somehow unplug the smallish one’s TV. Screaming ensues.

While I’m fixing the TV, the tallish one shrieks from her room. The medicine I’d just given her included some oil for an ear infection, complete with cotton ball. The panic was…”my cotton ball just got lost down my ear and is stuck in my throat.”

Ummm…

I fished the cotton ball out of her sheets, assured her that cotton balls will NOT travel from her ear to anywhere else inside her. This was about the time something touched the back of my knee.

I screamed, she screamed, and her little brother bolted, yelling “I just wanted night-night kisses!!!”

Sometime a couple hours past bedtime, I finally peeked in on two snoring minions, in their own beds, in their own rooms. It was a tough decision not to take a photo of each, because they were just too darn cute…I’m pretty sure the flash would have woken them up and worn out the cuteness real quick.

 

Travelling with minions is not for the weak. Murphey, or Newton, or whichever smart guy of the olden days said “whatever can go wrong, will,” nailed it.

I took a trip this past week to Corpus, with some friends and of course the tallish and smallish minions. They loved it, I loved it, I’m pretty sure I’ve dissuaded at least one friend from ever having kids…and I learned a few travelling lessons along the way.

Be sure you pack at least one backpack of “things to do” for each child. A shared bag of entertainment is unacceptable, and not nearly big enough. You need, at a minimum, gadgets with apps, chargers for said gadgets, coloring books and crayons, games, a digital camera, something that plays music…and be prepared to still have to give up your cell phone.

The trip WILL take twice as long as you plan. Takes 11 hours to get there (and you know this because you’ve done it more than once)? Nope. Better plan to get there in about 24, including camping out at a budget motel somewhere along the way, parked next to a pedophile van, trying to dissuade your friends from telling ghost stories about haunted motels.

Avoid pizza places. They ALL have games and money-sucker machines that are irresistible to minions.

Bring trash bags. You’ll discover a ton of different uses, besides the fact that 2 minions on a road trip can create more trash than a family of 4 in a week. It WILL rain, and you can put your luggage (suitcases and all) in big trash bags for the back of the pickup. Put extra pillows and blankets in one, because there will be some point on the trip that it will become necessary to create one giant pallet full of sleeping little ones in the back of the cab.

…wait. Everyone travels in a pickup, right?

Then, you should also brace yourself for the music. No matter that there are 2 tablets, an mp3 player, a couple of iPods, and 14 pairs of earphones floating around…you WILL be giving up radio rights. You WILL be listening to Kidz Bop for hours on end, and you WILL memorize the Gummy Bear song before you get home.

When you’re at your destination, driving around exploring and taking photos, the local police will pull you over for making a sudden uTurn for a shot of the Shrimp Crossing sign you just spotted. And when said cop hits his lights, your minions (who have memorized Despicable Me 2) will “be a siren” for him by yelling “beedo, beedo, beedo…” until you threaten them with jail time. Thankfully, lots of cops in touristy towns are pretty patient with tourists.

…or they feel sorry for the poor idiots hauling around the Beedo Kids.

You’ll also need snacks. 37 bags of chips, 20 suckers, a container of trail mix, some doughnuts, crackers, apples and bananas, and assorted cookies. You have to resist the temptation to mix sedatives into the snacks. It’s frowned upon…although I’m not sure I understand why.

I also don’t understand where this new gray hair suddenly came from…

Image

   I haven’t really taken a vacation since I’ve had minions. I’ve taken a long weekend here and there, and I’ve packed them up and shipped them to Grandma for a few days at a time.

   I’ve discovered that packing them up for an entire week, a whole relaxing, travel-across-Texas, kind of vacation, is a lot like trying to repack a bean-bag when you get too curious about what’s in there. If you’ve ever opened up a bean bag chair and watched thousands of little Styrofoam bits go flying in all directions, sticking to everything BUT the inside of the bag, then you might have come close to the experience I just had.

   I pulled the smallish minion out of his Angry Birds backpack (yes, he fits) twice, his sister’s Peace Sign bag once, and my own suitcase half a dozen times. He Unpacked his backpack once, refilling it with Hot Wheels…this is when I discovered that he has enough little cars to more than fill a standard backpack. I repacked it, put the cars away, and turned around to find him stashing powdered sugar donuts in amongst his clothes.

   Then there was his sister. The tallish minion insisted (at least in the beginning) on packing for herself. I agreed, on the condition that I get to inspect the bag when she was done. The contents of said bag were as follows: seven (yes. Seven.) swimsuits, 4 pairs of shorts, 12 tank tops, 2 pajama bottoms (no tops), 3 pairs of shoes, a single pair of panties, no socks, her Kindle, cowboy boots, and a double-handful of ponytail holders.

   Of course she threw a fit when I had to tweak her packing just a little bit. During the fit, the smallish minion (suspiciously quiet this whole time), came strolling through in his Incredibles undies, rolling a squirming Angry Birds backpack.

   I rescued Orange Kitty from his bag, and repacked his powdered-sugared clothes. Then I hid both their bags. I packed mine a few times, because I had to keep dragging children out of it. I’m pretty sure the trip will require a Wal-Mart run, because I KNOW I forgot something vital. Just not sure yet what that something is…

It’s that time of year again. The time the tallish minion shows up waving around the much-anticipated Little League form. Time to bust out the Barbie bat and pink glove, locate a handful of the 137 practice balls that are floating around here somewhere, and get our big girl panties on…because “there’s NO CRYING in baseball.”
That’s my mantra through March and April every year…and by May, I give up because I’m usually crying by then, too. The minion thinks that baseball is the greatest sport ever for the first few practices and about the 3rd game. Then, someone gets stung by a bee, sunburns, or gets sore and tired of running, and suddenly it’s all my fault for signing her up for baseball yet again.
THIS YEAR though, it’s going to be a whole new ballgame. Pun intended.
The smallish minion has been telling me for two years that “Momma, I big enough to play batheball.”
This year, he is finally big enough for real. And a hand-me-down Barbie bat just ain’t gonna cut it. So, I am in search of a Batman bat, which I am pretty sure they don’t make, and a smaller than extra-small glove, because the smallish minion is tiny.
He also wants real baseball pants, which I am pretty sure don’t come in toddler sizes; and cleats, which I am pretty sure would land someone in the emergency room somehow. He has allowed that in the absence of cleats, his new (smooth-bottomed) cowboy boots shall work nicely.
I’m not sure who his coach will be this year, but I hope it’s someone with the patience of a saint. I coached the last two years…and I am now braving the world of single-parenting with an extra job and an EMT class. So when I was asked to coach again, I laughed and laughed. Then I ran.
So, whoever tackles the role that resembles herding Patriot-clad cats has my respect, and my sympathy. I guess I should warn them that my son is a leftie…
BW Set 5

   Potty training. What fun.

   See, I thought I had that one down in a “been there, done that” kind of way. The bigger minion had a few minor hiccups in the whole potty-training scenario, but no major issues. Once we bought some Tinkerbell undies that she didn’t want soiled, we were golden.

   I carried this cavalier attitude right into the training of the littler minion, thinking this would be a piece of cake…after all, “boys are easier,” right?

   Nope.

   I figured the whole peeing standing up thing would work in my favor.

   Nope.

   I thought that the boy would be like his sister in hating the feel of wet clothes on tender tushies.

   Nope.

   My first challenge was teaching him he could undergo the necessary actions without having to sit down, or even completely take his pants down. Well…it’s not like I could demonstrate!

   So the first few “Go Potty” attempts were sitting down on the potty, “Girl Style.” Well, what I didn’t think about ahead of time was the basic anatomy of a boy-child. Apparently a sitting position lines them up perfectly to shoot up and out, instead of down into the potty. He shot the sink across the room. I cried. He laughed.

   We abandoned the sitting down idea.

   Living in the country, well-meaning advice stated to let him go on the porch. Aim at a cat. Try to hit a bug…little things to make it a big outdoor manly adventure. So we took the issue outdoors. This only resulted in me and my son standing on the porch, staring forlornly at each other, his pants around his knees.

   Fast-forward an eternity, and we’ve about got the basics down. He’ll go outside, he’ll go to our potty and those of places he’s familiar with. He’s terrified of the automatic flushers provided at Wal-Mart. We have some accidents, but it’s getting better.

   Until a few days ago. We’re at our second home, and his practically-adopted big sister took him to the bathroom. He stood on her feet to reach. Apparently stage fright took over and after a long pause, he looks up at her with those big puppy-dog eyes and says, “It’s broken.”